Nurse Practitioner, Jerrica S., tells us how her hybrid clinical career of in-person and virtual care keeps her hands-on skills sharp while giving her the flexibility to be more present with her family.
What’s your background? What did you do before practicing telemedicine?
I have been a family nurse practitioner for 8 years and received my master's degree from The University of Scranton. I also have my doctorate of nursing practice from Purdue University Global.
I started my career as a nurse practitioner in internal medicine for about 1 year then moved to family practice for about 6 years while living in the state of Virginia. My telemedicine career started with Wheel just over a year ago when we moved back to Pennsylvania. I have also been working in a local urgent care for the last year to keep up with my hands-on skills.
What’s your life like outside of work?
My life outside of work currently consists of a lot of home renovation projects. Our current home is just outside of Scranton, and we have been working to make it our own since moving back to Pennsylvania.
My husband is a firefighter and we have one daughter who just turned 18 months old. We have a black lab named Piper and also have four horses. I do love to travel but have not been able to do as much as I would like because of the pandemic. I love being around friends and family, and enjoy quite a few hobbies including snowboarding, riding horses, UTV riding, kayaking, and just relaxing.
What brought you to telemedicine?
I decided to make the transition to telemedicine shortly after having our daughter. Telemedicine has allowed me to enjoy all the stages and milestones that my daughter has accomplished and has permitted me a better work-life balance. I feel blessed to have found Wheel pre-pandemic and grow with the company as the needs of patients and clients evolved.
What’s your Wheel Moment of Freedom?
I have experienced autonomy and flexibility every day since I joined the Wheel Care Team. Many of the typical roles in healthcare require you to make a lot of sacrifices including holidays, weekends, unpaid overtime, or working with difficult clients or patients.
In previous roles, I felt that I could never say "no" to something that did not work well for me because of pressure or guilt. With Wheel, I feel empowered to make decisions that work best for me and my career, all while keeping the client's needs in mind. I am very grateful to be on the Wheel team!
What do you think the future of healthcare holds?
I believe that we are still just beginning to see the impact that telemedicine can have on our patients and the healthcare system as a whole. I feel that changes to state regulations, government policy, and insurance coverage will shape the future of telemedicine.
The pandemic really pushed telemedicine into the frontlines of care for many patients and proved that a lot of visit types can be completed through a virtual modality. Hopefully, telemedicine providers and companies will continue to advocate for policy, regulation, and insurance changes that will promote improved access and cost coverage to patients opting to use telemedicine services.
Thanks, Jerrica, for being an essential member of the #WheelCareTeam!
Interested in joining our team of virtual care clinicians? Learn more about working in telehealth with Wheel.
Discover more clinician experiences in our previous Care Team spotlight interviews with a full-time telehealth NP who took her practice on the road, an LCSW who transitioned to full-time telemedicine, and a clinician who leveraged the flexibility of telehealth to complete her doctorate.